Indianapolis Ranked 19th in Dog Attacks On Postal Workers Nationwide

Unless it’s due to a vicious attack that leads to serious injury or worse, we don’t often see a “Dog Bites Man” report in the news. Most people, if asked, probably would not guess that more than 4 1/2 million dog bites are reported each year, more than half of them to children. Between 12 and 20 people die from dog attacks annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

And while it may be an old cliche, dog bites to mail carriers are a real concern. A recent article from the U.S. Postal Service reported that:

  • Last year, 5,577 postal employees were attacked in more than 1,400 cities nationwide
  • Indianapolis ranked #19 in dog attacks (21) on postal workers

To kick off National Dog Bite Prevention Week, May 19 – 25, the Postal Service released their rankings of the top 25 cities for dog attacks to letter carriers. Los Angeles has the dubious distinction of ranking #1, with 83 attacks.

According to Mark Anderson, postmaster of Los Angeles, “Given the right circumstances, any dog can attack. Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem. Working with animal behavior experts, we’ve developed tips to avoid dog attacks, and for dog owners, tips for practicing responsible pet ownership.”

To help combat the problem, several organizations are promoting the message that dog bites are a nationwide issue and that education can help prevent dog attacks to people of all ages:

A few of the more eye-opening findings from the report include:

  • Children are three times more likely to be bitten by a dog than adults.
  • More than 29,000 reconstructive procedures were performed as a result of injuries caused by dog bites in 2011.
  • Dog attacks accounted for more than 1/3 of all homeowner insurance liability claims paid out in 2011.

The article goes on to provide tips on how to prevent dog attacks, how to be a responsible dog owner, what to do if you or a loved one are bitten, and advice from experts.

For more information, read the U.S. Postal Service article, Half of All Dog Bite Victims are Children.

Indianapolis Increases Pet Services As Area Animal Shelters Reduce Dog & Cat Euthanasia Rate

An article posted yesterday on IndyStar.com reported on the work being done to improve the quality of life of stray dogs and cats in the Indianapolis area. The article also discusses how the Indianapolis Animal Care and Control shelter has made changes to help reduce the euthanasia rate in their care over the last few years.

According to the article, the rate of animals released alive by the shelter went up from 39% in 2008 to almost 49% in 2011, and has risen even higher over the last few months.

The article takes a look at the history of the shelter and the issues it has faced over the years, including the fact that 8,147 animals had to be euthanized last year because of space limitations or other reasons, including sickness or age.

The article also details the efforts being taken to lower that number by Mayor Ballard, the Indianapolis/Marion County City-County Council, and the Humane Society of Indianapolis, which focus on three primary areas:

  1. Raising money to help promote spay and neuter programs by charging residents of other counties a $40.00 drop-off fee for unwanted animals.
     
  2. The Humane Society of Indianapolis plans to open a low-cost vaccinations clinic inside the new Westside Animal Welfare Center in July, expanding access to basic shots needed to keep pets healthy.
     
  3. A $750,000 fundraising campaign to add low-cost spay and neutering services at the Animal Welfare Center, with a goal of 10,000 sterilization surgeries a year within the first three years if they are successful in raising the needed start-up costs.

We encourage everyone to help reduce euthanasia rate, and do what you can to help in this effort to improve the lives of all Indianapolis-area dogs and cats.